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Old 03-01-2016, 08:13   #16
Zai
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

If your near CIH, I would head for Chineese harbor or maybe Potatoe harbor on Santa Cruz Island and ride it out. Of course it depends on when it is forcasted to blow through. Assuming it is blowing from the SW (you mentioned a lee shore).
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:57   #17
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

Given both boats are equally sound, the choice is irrelevant and the whole thing boils down to individual preferences. It is in your skills and preparation (and in your experience with this specific style of hull / rig), not in the boat.

Your skills, your preparation (obviously: poor in this case, since you got caught out while you should not) and a sound boat of any design.

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Old 03-01-2016, 10:33   #18
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

You've chosen an interesting Cal to compare, since the 34 was (at least originally) pretty darned light and pretty lightly ballasted. I think they were in the vicinity of 8,500 displacement and perhaps 3,400 in the keel? On the other hand, I can't remember any breaking or losing that untapered mast, so perhaps like a lightbulb at sea, they just continue to float.

The key, and this is pretty obvious, is the ability for the Cal to strip down to some pretty small sails, and to not have some furling jenny on the bow. I think the Cal would be pretty weatherly with a 75% jib and a double reef. Unfortunately, if the boat were from Southern California, it probably would not have either. If the boat were from Santa Cruz or north, it would likely have them.

Small flat sails and a good autopilot are excellent tools for the California Coast.

Chuck Hawley
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:36   #19
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

Barnakial hit the nail on the head. I have done 8 or 9 thousand miles in a Contessa 26 and delivered a Cal 34 from Hawaii to S.F. and both boats will stand up to more than almost any crew will. The Contessa will heave-to very comfortably. I never tried that in the Cal. NOT RUNNING a dangerous entrance is the most important point to remember. No matter how cold wet and seasick you are, it will be much worse if you loose control in the surf line. Get home itus is what kills small plane pilots and sailors. _____Grant.
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:09   #20
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
I don't purposely go out in a storm in my boat which is 3 times bigger.
That should tell you something.
Big 10-4 on that! We are 58 feet and 36 tons with long keel. The biggest cruise hazard faced is trying to get home because you have a schedule. The best is to look for that weather window or stay put.

I have run 16 to 20 footers, no fun. We stay away from harbor entries even on the Great lakes if the waves are topping the break wall sides 'cause you can get sucked into the rocks. Running down the big wave train is OK if there is plenty of depth & they are not breaking.

I used to race a CAL40. I like the CAL. I also sailed a Heritage One-Ton (37 Morgan design) in the 1981 Chicago-Mac in sustained 70 knot winds & 30 foot seas. Also not fun but survivable in a heavy well-found boat. Several boats lost masts & rudders in that one.
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:24   #21
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

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Originally Posted by Chuck Hawley View Post
You've chosen an interesting Cal to compare, since the 34 was (at least originally) pretty darned light and pretty lightly ballasted. I think they were in the vicinity of 8,500 displacement and perhaps 3,400 in the keel? On the other hand, I can't remember any breaking or losing that untapered mast, so perhaps like a lightbulb at sea, they just continue to float.

The key, and this is pretty obvious, is the ability for the Cal to strip down to some pretty small sails, and to not have some furling jenny on the bow. I think the Cal would be pretty weatherly with a 75% jib and a double reef. Unfortunately, if the boat were from Southern California, it probably would not have either. If the boat were from Santa Cruz or north, it would likely have them.

Small flat sails and a good autopilot are excellent tools for the California Coast.

Chuck Hawley
Very well said.
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:53   #22
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

bobnlesley,
What do you mean by 'Nic' in your reply? Or have I missed a beat here?
Bob
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Old 03-01-2016, 13:48   #23
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

Thanks for the replies, I'm in complete agreement with Mr. Barnakiel. Unfortunately in my case, Unprepared and unawares I will be as skipper until I can get some miles of my own.

This question is rooted very much in the "help me decide what boat to buy" sort of stuff.

Very likely what I think is a "nasty coastal blow" and worthy of grand exaggeration on the barstool down at the old rudder room will actually be routine snot for an experienced northern skipper.

I ask because I do not want to eliminate a boat that would work well for me, something much more coastal oriented, especially forgiving for maneuvering in the marina, because I have developed a fear of going to sea in something less than a traditional offshore "bluewater" type boat.

I think coastal sailing in a coastal boat will give me much more of Mr. Barnakiel is describing as seaworthy (my skills) than outfitting and rebuilding for passagemaking on the hard and working ashore to save up for years (the boat).

I am also starting to think a larger/longer boat goes along way towards going to windward effectively, which may be of some considerable use near shore, especially on the California coast should I decide to try to go north anywhere along it for any reason.

I could be wrong. would not be the first time!
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Old 03-01-2016, 19:01   #24
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

Nematon,

Here is an article for you to read. The incident takes place off the coast of SOCAL.

the boat was a Catalina 36.

Key lesson?
The boat can withstand more bad weather than the crew will. This is not uncommon.

Consequently, I would concentrate on crew preparation and skills development and awareness of personal limits.

Either boat could likely survive. The question then becomes, would the crew stay with it?

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Old 04-01-2016, 02:39   #25
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

I guess our question would be why be out there in the first place if it is a day sail and you should have know the weather was coming in. We spend a great deal of time looking at the weather and deciding when and how far we can get and even if we should go out.
We got caught twice by bad weather, one approaching Sardinia and we knew a blow was coming but it showed up 12 hours early and we were 4nm from safe harbor and took 2 hours to get there.
the other was an unexpected and not forecast blow as we approached the Straits of Messenia and about 2nm offshore and out of no where we got hit hard. we did manage to make safe harbor but not until after a lot of work.

When we sailed the USA and the Caribbean we would not go if the weather was beyond what we thought was acceptable to us as no sense in getting the boat and crew beat up. And for what?
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Old 05-01-2016, 10:46   #26
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

Contessa. Much heavier built. Stronger rudder. Stronger keel. Better bal/displ and displ/length ratios. Will heave to easier. Bigger does not always mean safer. Try and get searoom and heave to.
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:10   #27
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

Having spent a bit of time in those waters, I would opt for the longer waterline of the Cal. Contessa's are sweet little offshore cruising boats but the wave moment south of Pt Conception would give you a pretty rough ride aboard her. Whereas the Cal, with the longer waterline in the shorter intervalled seas that you find in SoCal, would be the more comfortable and just as manageable. Just my opinion... Phil
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:13   #28
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

Neither! The old Cal would likely end up rudderless and the Contessa filled with water! OK... not necessarily, If I have to choose the Contessa and great foulies!
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:27   #29
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

And didn't Tania Aebi sail around the world in a C26. She got caught in a bad storm when almost back to the east coast of US. She got knocked down and the boat kept on ticking.

John kretschmer had a C32 and sailed around the horn (and around the world?)
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:42   #30
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

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And didn't Tania Aebi sail around the world in a C26. She got caught in a bad storm when almost back to the east coast of US. She got knocked down and the boat kept on ticking.

John kretschmer had a C32 and sailed around the horn (and around the world?)
OK nematon, I think you should head toward the Contessa 32 or one like it (in case you can't find a Columbia 29!). IMHO that may be one of the best all-around designs for cruising, coastal or otherwise. And this is coming from someone who loves his S&S Columbia 29. Not too big, not too small. Fin (molded in, no keel bolts) and skeg (strong, not going to snag too many crab pots) good performer, good displacement to water line length ratio, sensible interior (I like having a quarter berth available.)
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